How to Pick the Best Vet Tech Training Program Near Glendale Arizona
Realizing your lifelong aspiration of working with and helping pets by enrolling in a vet tech college near Glendale AZ could at first seem like an overwhelming endeavor. After all, you must find and enroll in a college that will deliver the proper training to ensure that you can be successful as a veterinary technician. But just how do you tackle evaluating and comparing schools so that you can make the proper choice? Many future students launch their due diligence process by looking for campuses that are close to their residences. When they have found some area colleges, they determine which ones have the most affordable tuition and hone in on those. Although location and cost are important considerations when assessing vet tech schools, they are not the only critical ones when making your comparisons. Factors such as internship programs and accreditation should be evaluated as well. The point is that there are questions you ought to be asking the vet tech programs you are considering before you make an ultimate choice. We have presented several within this article in order to help get you started, but before we review them we'll discuss the varied roles of vet techs and the training options available.
Veterinary Assistants, Technicians and Technologists
Among the initial decisions that you will need to make is if you wish to train as a vet technician, assistant or technologist. Part of your decision might be dependent on the amount of time and money that you have to invest in your education, but the main factor will probably be which specialization appeals to you the most. What technicians and assistants have in common is that they both work under the direct supervision of a practicing and licensed veterinarian. And even though there are numerous functions that they can carry out within the Glendale AZ veterinary practice or hospital, they can't prescribe medications, diagnose conditions, or carry out surgical procedures. In those areas they may only provide assistance to a licensed veterinarian. There are technicians and technologists that work away from the typical veterinarian practice, for example for zoos, animal shelters or law enforcement. Let's take a look at the responsibilities and education prerequisites for each specialization.
- Vet Assistants in almost all instances will have gone through a structured training program, either as an apprentice or intern in a vet clinic or hospital, or by graduating from a certificate program at a community college or trade school. As the name implies, their job function is to assist the vets and vet technicians in the completion of their duties. Usually they are not associated with more involved undertakings, such as assisting with surgeries. A few of their usual responsibilities may include working at the front desk, preparing and cleaning exam rooms and equipment, or handling pets during exams.
- Vet Technicians get more advanced training compared with assistants and typically acquire a two year Associate Degree, ideally from an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredited program. They are in a sense the veterinary counterparts of medical nurses, since their fundamental job function is to assist vets with diagnosing and treating animal patients. Where they differ from vet assistants is that they are engaged in more involved tasks, such as assisting with surgical procedures or providing medication. All states presently require vet technicians pass a credentialing examination for either registration, certification or licensing.
- Vet Technologists are similar to veterinary technicians and basically perform the same work functions. They are mandated to attain a Bachelor's Degree in veterinary technology, which generally takes four years to complete. So the only real distinction between a vet technologist and a technician is the technologist's higher level of education. But with an advanced degree comes more work options, higher salaries and potential management positions. They are additionally mandated to pass a credentialing examination for either licensing, registration or certification.
Vet techs and technologists can specialize in areas such as internal medicine, anesthesia or urgent care. Many may earn certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in Glendale AZ labs or research facilities also.
Veterinary Technician Online Schools Offered
An option that might be a solution for those with a busy lifestyle or who are working full time while going to veterinary school is to enroll in an online training program. Since the classes are made available over the internet, students can study on their own schedule wherever a computer is available. The educational program is taught using multiple methods, including videos, slide shows and live streaming webinars. And since most vet technician and technologist degrees require practical training, that portion can usually be carried out as an internship or work study program at a local Glendale AZ veterinary clinic or hospital. Distance learning, as it is also called, may in some instances decrease the cost of your education. Tuition and ancillary expenses, such as for traveling and study supplies, may be cheaper compared to more traditional classroom courses. Just confirm that the online school that you select is accredited, either by the AVMA or another nationally certified accrediting agency. With the online classes and the practical training, everything is furnished for a complete education. So if you are dedicated enough to learn in this more independent manner, an online vet tech program may be the right choice for you.
Things to Ask Veterinary Technician Programs
At this point you should have selected which veterinary credential that you would like to earn, and if you want to study online or attend a program on campus. Since there are a large number of veterinary community colleges, trade and vocational schools in the Glendale AZ area as well as across the Country, you need to ask some important questions to help fine tune your list of alternatives. As we pointed out in our introduction, many prospective students start by focusing on location and the cost of tuition. But we have already touched on other significant qualifiers, for instance internship programs and accreditation. And of course you want to select a school that offers the degree and specialty that you would like to earn. These and other qualifications are reviewed in the checklist of questions that you need to ask the veterinary technician schools that you are looking at.
Is the Veterinary College Accredited? It's essential that you confirm that the veterinary technician program you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency. As previously discussed, one of the most highly respected is the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Vocational schools and colleges that are accredited by the AVMA have gone through a thorough screening process that verifies you will obtain a quality education. Also, accreditation is essential if you are applying for a student loan or financial assistance, since numerous programs are not obtainable for non-accredited schools. Last, having a certificate or degree from an accredited program is often a precondition for employment for many Glendale AZ area veterinary clinics and hospitals.
What is the School's Reputation? The veterinary college or trade school and program you choose must have an excellent reputation within the veterinary community. You can start your due diligence by asking the schools you are reviewing for references from the employers in their job assistance network. Other tips include checking with internet school ranking websites and speaking with the school's accrediting agencies as well. You can ask the Arizona school licensing department if there have been any grievances or violations involving your specific schools. As a final suggestion, contact some Glendale AZ vet clinics that you might wish to work for after you receive your training. Ask what they think of your school choices. They might even recommend one or more programs not on your list.
Are there Internship Programs? The best means to get clinical hands on training as a vet tech is to work in a medical environment. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have internship programs arranged with Glendale AZ veterinarians, vet practices or hospitals. Almost all veterinary medicine programs mandate practical training and a large number furnish it by means of internships. Not only will the experience be valuable relative to the practical training, but an internship can also help build relationships in the local veterinary community and assist in the search for employment after graduation.
Is there a Job Assistance Program? Getting a job after graduating from a vet tech school may be challenging without the help of a job placement program. To start with, find out what the graduation rates are for the schools you are considering. A lower rate may signify that the teachers were ineffective at teaching the syllabus or that some students were disappointed with the program and quit. Next, check that the schools have a job assistance program and ask what their placement rates are. A high placement rate may mean that the program has an excellent reputation within the Glendale AZ vet community and has a significant network of contacts for student placements. A lower rate might indicate that the training is not well regarded by employers or that the job placement program is ineffective at placing students.
How Large are the Classes? If the classes are larger, you may get little or no individualized instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Glendale AZ colleges you are researching what their class teacher to student ratios are. You may also want to sit in on a few classes (if practical) to observe the interaction between students and teachers. Get evaluations from students regarding the quality of instruction. Also, talk with the teachers and find out what their backgrounds are as well as their methods of teaching.
Where is the School Located? Of course, we already covered location, but there are a couple of more points to consider on the subject. If you are planning to commute to your veterinary technician classes from your Glendale AZ home, you have to confirm that the commuting time fits into your schedule. For example, driving during the weekend to check out the route won't be the same as the drive during rush hour traffic, particularly if the college is located close by or within a large city. Also, if you do decide to attend a school in another state or even outside of your County of residence, there may be increased tuition charges particularly for community and state colleges. Of course taking online classes might be an option that will give you more flexibility and minimize the need for travel.
Is the Class Schedule Flexible? And last, it's important that you determine if the veterinary programs you are exploring offer class times flexible enough to fit your schedule. For instance, a number of students continue to work full time and can only go to classes on the weekends or in the evenings near Glendale AZ. Others might only be able to go to class in the morning or later in the afternoon. Make sure that the class times you need are available before enrolling. In addition, determine if you can make up classes that you might miss because of sickness, work or family emergencies. You might find that an online college is the best solution to fit your veterinary training into your busy life.
Enroll in the Right Glendale Veterinary Technologist College
Choosing the ideal veterinary technician college is a critical first step to starting a rewarding career providing care and treatment for animals. Potential students considering vet tech colleges need to make their determination based on multiple key issues. Veterinary technicians and technologists are employed in veterinary clinics and hospitals and animal shelters. They typically take on administrative duties and assist the veterinarian with the animal patients when needed. As we have covered, it's very important that you enroll in a veterinary medicine program that is both accredited and has an outstanding reputation within the field. This applies to vet tech online programs as well. By asking the questions provided in our checklist for evaluating schools, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can make your final choice. And by selecting the best school, you can reach your goal of becoming a vet tech in Glendale Arizona.